Digital technology is changing the way the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg delivers services and the way citizens and businesses engage with the city and each other. The popularity of smartphones and tablets, the pervasive use of social media and the growth of data, analytics and the “cloud” are all creating opportunities to improve public services, expand digital infrastructure and strengthen Hamburg’s digital economy. To this end, the Hamburg Senate adopted a “Digital City Strategy” on Tuesday to bundle processes, to enhance digital engagement and access, to improve infrastructure, and to support the digital economy
“Whether one personally approves of the digitilisation of all areas of life personally is not the question, it still takes place at high speed. We thus need to make the threat discussion a chance discussion,” Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz said. “If Hamburg wants to shape this process, it’s now the time to act. Otherwise, we would be forced to accept third party solutions. “
Hamburg Open Online University
In future, the Senate will thus not only take into account, but strengthen digitisation in all initiatives and projects it participates. A Digital City Control Centre will co-ordinate and monitor the process at each stage. A concrete example is the digitisation of Hamburg’s university launched by the Senate, with the Hamburg Open Online University as a core project.
Hamburg To Lead Digitisation
Widely supported by Hamburg state institutes of higher education, the new approach will to complement traditional classroom teaching by the new possibilities of digital technologies. This will offer to Hamburg the opportunity to play a leading role in the digital teaching.
The aim of the Senate is to use technical innovations for the optimal development of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg as a digital city. Hamburg thus becomes a test ground for new technological solutions to improve service quality and urban life in a socially and environmentally responsible manner in practical application.
Security and Privacy
The bandwidth of projects will range from the digital management to intelligent transport systems and port organisation (smart port), digital geo data, and educational and cultural activities to implementing the needed digital infrastructure for sustainable energy supply (Smart Energy).
To ensure the necessary confidence in citizens needed for all these projects, the Senate will ensure IT security and data protection.
Digital City Control Centre
A particular challenge of the comprehensive approach of Hamburg’s Digital City Strategy lies in the fact that a far greater number of actors will be included, and not only administration itself. For this, among other things, a Digital City Control Centre will be set up at the Senate Chancellery, which will accompany and coordinate each project.
“The digitization is a citywide task. With our Digital City Control Center, we want to link projects and processes across and beyond administrative boundaries,” said Dr Christoph Krupp, Secretary of State of the Senate Chancellery. “We see ourselves as central contact for both the public and strategic partners, such as entrepreneurs.”
The Hamburg Senate allocated funds of 3.7 million euros from the budgets of the Ministry of Science and Research and the Senate Chancellery to finance the project until 2016.